website design trends 2015
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As the owner of a website – either for personal or business use – you only have a few seconds to make a good impression on someone who is visiting your site. If your site looks outdated, is hard to use, or just has bad aesthetics, it could drive visitors away. By knowing what the current trends are in web design – and where they might be heading – you can create a site that will draw in visitors and keep them. Below are some of the hottest trends that you will find in web design, along with our thoughts on where we think the industry might be heading. If you can employ some of the techniques and strategies mentioned below, you will give yourself an advantage over your competitors.

1. Responsive Design – This is a trend that started a couple of years ago, but will most likely continue for at least the next decade. When someone accesses your website, there is no way for you to know ahead of time what kind of device they are going to be using. They could be on their desktop computer, on a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone, or soon, even a watch. Coding a website for each possibility doesn’t make much sense, and that is where responsive design comes in. With this method, your website will change itself based on the device it is being viewed on. It will re-size itself, so that each person viewing the website has an optimal view – no matter what device they may be on. As more and more people start to use mobile devices for their web browsing, it is important to ensure that they can properly view your website and using responsive design techniques allows you to do this.

2. Full Screen Images – As is often the case, it is easier to describe what your website is about with a picture rather than words. In this vein, many web designers have taken to incorporating large, full-page images that function as the website’s background. This gives an immediate impression to your visitors, who can gather an idea as to what you are about before reading a single word on the page. In addition to the background, these large images can be used in the Header section of the website, so that you can still easily put the necessary information on the page without it looking crowded.

3. Ghost Buttons – Chances are you have seen these buttons before. They have become very popular – especially among designers that use images as their backgrounds. With a Ghost Button, the “main” color of a button is the same as the background color – or it is transparent. Then, only the border and the text are given a different color to help it stand out from what is behind it. These buttons give a simple, elegant look that helps your website to remain aesthetically pleasing, while also being functional. As the trends continue more towards large images, you can expect the popularity of Ghost Buttons to increase as well.

4. Card Design – Card Design is one trend that seems to be taking over the internet. By now, you’ve probably used, or at least seen, some websites that utilize a card design system. One of the most popular examples is Pinterest, but many other sites – including Google, Twitter, Spotify and Facebook – use elements from card design. With card design, rather than having one static page of information, each user has their own “cards”. These cards are essentially blocks of information that are aggregated specifically for them. How the aggregation is compiled can be based on several different factors, such as the user’s interests, their location, their friends’ interests, and more. This gives each user a personal experience with the website, and makes it easier for the web designer to maintain the website.

5. Simple Navigation – One of the basic themes underlying the new web design trends is the need for simple navigation. We have become so accustomed to having the information we need right at our fingertips, that when a website is too confusing to navigate through, we will often abandon it and choose another, simply because we feel like we are wasting time. Web designers need to think about how their website is going to be set up before beginning, so that they can plan the simplest navigational system possible for the site. If the information people are looking for on your site is too hard to find, or requires too many clicks, you are most likely going to lose visitors.

6. Large Homepages – Along the same lines as simple navigation, one trend we have been noticing is larger homepages. Since the majority of people are now accessing the web through their mobile devices, this generally means a slower internet connection. As a result, people do not want to be sifting through your website looking for information, as each page is going to take time to load. This has led to designers putting more information directly on the homepage, so that mobile users do not need to click as often. By designing a website that contains as much of the vital information about your site as possible, you make it easier for mobile users to get around, and they will therefore be more likely to return to your site. Mobile devices are only growing more popular each year, so this is a trend that is likely to grow as the years go on.

The majority of trends on web design today are focused on the mobile experience. Web designers are taking into account that there are many different ways their site can be viewed, and that this needs to be accounted for when planning the design. Making sites that are both visually appealing to every visitor, while also remaining easy to use and highly functional, is the challenge that web designers are going to face for the foreseeable future. The rate at which users access the internet through devices other than their desktop computer is going to continue to grow, and the trends in web design are going to reflect that for 2015 and beyond.

Cody Landefeld

co-founder at Mode Effect. ECommerce consultant. Coram deo.

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